Sensei Sushi Bar
268 Aguirre Street, BF Homes,
Tel No. 754-9526
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 mn daily
Japanese and Asian flavors will tease your senses at Sensei. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) Don't expect a traditional "sushi bar" when you walk into Sensei. It's a casual joint devoid of any Asian décor, with a huge blackboard highlighting the kitchen’s specials vying for your attention. "The menu changes every 2 or 3 days," says chef and owner Bruce Ricketts. "It's all really dependent on what fish and produce we get, everything is fresh," he explains. "Plus, we make everything in-house, from the ramen noodles to the taco tortillas."
Ricketts, the former executive chef of Robot, likes being creative with flavors and textures. Sensei’s gyoza (P127), a Japanese resto staple, gets a juicy upgrade at Sensei-the meat is drenched in ramen broth and topped with pickled lemongrass, then drizzled with a soy mustard emulsion and yakitori sauce. His Asian Tacos (starts at P140 for two) are an homage to the Mexican snack he grew up with in San Diego: the fish tacos are crisp and firm, the short ribs version get a sweet-spicy pickled kick from the kimchi it’s mixed with, and the corn-and-tomatoes salsa has a nice miso flavor. "They can call it fusion," says the chef who did kitchen time in Napa Valley's Michelin-rated The French Laundry. "I like to call it food I'd want to eat."
His Spicy Ramen is also gaining a following, he gladly shares. "It's the only thing I didn't change, ramen is good as it is." But if there's one thing you should order at Sensei, it's the Seared Rib-Eye Steak (P405)-the ponzu sauce, the fragrant truffle oil (which he uses sparingly, just enough to tease one's senses) makes for a satisfying mix of sweet and subtle salt notes with the juicy meat flavor. If you're a sushi and sashimi fanatic, park yourself by the bar and see what the kitchen has in store for the day.
Photos by Trixie Zabal-Mendoza